Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Get Well Already

My cold is hanging on, thanks for asking. It's still not very severe -- I don't have a fever and I don't feel too bad -- but my nose is stuffy and itchy and I have a cough. It seems to evolve each day, migrating in intensity from my throat to my nose to my chest. Hopefully it will soon depart.

I'm still going to work, because as I said it's not much of a cold. Most people looking at me wouldn't know I'm sick. I figure if I keep my hands washed (and fortunately we have a sink in the back of the library for just that purpose) I won't spread it around. Insha'allah, as the Muslims say.

(Insha'allah, by the way, is one of the handiest expressions ever invented. I heard it used a hundred times a day when I lived in Morocco. It means "God willing," and can be applied to virtually any situation. It can be an expression of hope or intention, or a response to an invitation or request -- and it commits one to nothing. It's right up there with y'all in terms of useful words.)

Some of you pointed out that in yesterday's post I focused heavily on blue and purple flowers. That was kind of accidental -- we really do have other colors too. The daffodils have largely faded but we have yellow forsythia and primroses in several colors, including yellow and red. Our white candytuft is blooming now, and I'm continually fighting a pigeon who likes to eat the flowers. Every once in a while I look out the glass doors and there he is, pecking away. I didn't have this problem in previous years!

Dave and I need to renew our visas again this year, and because we'll be coming up on six years in the UK, we apparently need to apply for what's called "Indefinite Leave to Remain." It's essentially a green card that lets us stay and work indefinitely. It's a bit of a hurdle because it includes a test based on life in the UK, and I'm told that this test -- even if one reads the Guardian and toured Parliament and paid attention in history class -- is a challenge. My boss, who's taken it, said they ask obscure things like how many people are on the supreme court in Northern Ireland. Good Lord! So I bought the test prep books, which hopefully are being mailed as we speak, and Dave and I will be studying up. I'm kind of looking forward to it, actually. I love geeky stuff like that.

(Photo: Daisy Parsons (1890-1957), a suffragette depicted in a mural at the Hermit Road Recreation Ground in East London.)


  1. Well. good luck with that challenge. You'll do fine, I'm sure. Your cold sounds remarkably mild, so I hope it doesn't get worse. Mine was horrible. Love the photo.

  2. Your symptoms have led me to the conclusion that you are suffering from a very serious condition. It is called man flu!

    As for citizenship questions. Do you know the answers to these?
    What is Dennis the Menace's dog called?
    In which fictional London borough is "EastEnders" set?
    What are the four vital ingredients used in a Yorkshire pudding mixture?
    Who is the current manager of Hull City?
    What do Yanks call the following - trousers/handbag/pavement/candyfloss/bonnet (of car)/boot (of car)/lavatory/aeroplane/trump/inquisitive journalism?

  3. I was going to suggest YP could tutor you in all things English but having read the above, maybe not.


  4. What an interesting test to take. I'd be annoyed at having to study up, but the things you'll learn should be intriguing.
    And if ever there was a time to stay overseas, this is it.

  5. Can't you just read the UK Daily Mail and watch old episodes of Downton Abbey?

  6. well, you know, we have a similar saying...god willing and the creek don't rise.

  7. Nagging would be a good word to describe your cold. Okay, I'm happy that you have some other colors of flowers.

  8. Here's hoping that cold is gone by the weekend. I follow a travel blog written by a young American woman who actually immigrated to England. Around seven years after she lived in London she applied for citizenship and now has dual citizenship with the US and England. One of the reasons she did it was because she wouldn't have to wait in the very long non-EU lines at the airport. Well, that is certainly going to change pretty soon. Anyway, I follow her site because she's pretty much doing what I wish I had done when I was her age. The site is called "A Lady in London".
    Good luck with that test. I'm positive you will pass it with flying colors.

  9. Nice to have youboth a good while longer! X

  10. I like being able to PASS geeky tests, but I really hate studying for them. But that's why you're a journalist - you like to learn about things. I'm basically an office flunky - I like to put things in their place & forget about them. :)

  11. I hope your cold leaves the building soon! I'd be in a lather studying for that test. I'm not good with that stuff.

    Our version of Insha'allah is the word "hopefully." Covers a lot of ground!

  12. You will soon be a proper Englishman. Funny how life unfolds.

  13. There's an expression like that in Spanish, Ojala, which Google translate tells me means "hopefully" but which I learned means God willing. About the same, I guess.

    Hopefully your test will go well and you will be allowed to stay on in Merry Olde England!